HC Deb 05 November 1956 vol 558 cc1944-5
45. Mr. Swingler

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Government's latest military operations against Egypt and the discussions at the United Nations organisation concerning them.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of Defence will be making statements on these matters at the end of Questions.

Mr. Swingler

May I ask the Leader of the House if, in the course of these statements by the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of Defence, they will answer this plain question? Is it a fact that now both the Governments of Egypt and Israel have signified their willingness to cease fire, and is it now the position that the Government accept the sole responsibility and blame for continuing and spreading the war in the Middle East, thus putting our troops in the most odious position?

Mr. Butler

It would be a pity if we forestalled the statement of the Foreign Secretary or the opportunity that he may have for replying to the important question put by the hon. Member. I have registered that the Foreign Secretary has himself understood the hon. Member's question.

47. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will publish a White Paper giving an account of recent discussions with the Government of the United States of America on the Suez question.

51. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what consultations he has had with representatives of Commonwealth Governments concerning Her Majesty's Government's military operations against Egypt; and if he will publish a White Paper on the results of these consultations.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

Consultations with Commonwealth Governments and Allied Governments such as the United States of America are by their nature confidential and depend for their effectiveness on the certainty that they will remain so. I cannot, therefore, agree to the publication of these consultations in White Papers as suggested.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that he needs to make some reply to the widespread statements in the American Press that he misled the American Ambassador? Is he aware that we expect to be misled here, but does not he think that misleading the American Ambassador is going rather too far?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not accept for a moment that anything I said misled the American Ambassador.

Mr. Swingler

Will the Foreign Secretary say whether such consultations have taken place or not and whether he will publish the results? Will he say whether consultations have taken place, for example, with the representatives of the Governments of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, and the other members of the Commonwealth, about the action taken by Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister dealt with that point in the statement which he made to the House on Tuesday of last week.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. Question Time is at an end.